Mercyful Fate bassist Timi Hansen (1958-2019) remembered
As previously reported here at Stargazed Magazine, legendary metal band Mercyful Fate (King Diamond, Hank Shermann, Bjarne T Holm, Mike Wead) will re-unite and tour during the summer of 2020. Sadly, the line-up will not feature Timi “Grabber” Hansen, the band’s original bass player.
Having fought cancer, Hansen died on November 4th, 2019, one week after his 61st birthday. Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) has been asked to fill his place in Mercyful Fate because of his unique style and sound playing with his fingers, much like that of Hansen.
Danish bassist Timi Hansen played in the Danish heavy metal band Mercyful Fate from 1981 to 1985 and from 1992 to 1993, and its successor project King Diamond from 1985 to 1987. “I’ve always wanted to play music, but I first started out in Heavy Metal in the late 70s”, said Hansen, “My first experiences were Status Quo, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.”
Mercyful Fate grew out of the fact that Kim Bendix Petersen (a.k.a. King Diamond) and Hank Shermann of the punk-metal band Brats were asked to help former Brats member Michael Denner with his own project Danger Zone, a band that also featured Timi Hansen. “Danger Zone Demos” were eventually released unofficially in 2004.
Mercyful Fate was originally formed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1981, following the dissolution of the band Brats. After several line-up changes and semi-professional demo tapes, Mercyful Fate released their self-titled EP in 1982, also known as “Nuns Have No Fun”. All four tracks were also included along with live material on the 1987 compilation “The Beginning”.
The line-up consisting of King Diamond, guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner, drummer Kim Ruzz and bassist Timi Hansen would also go on to record the group’s first two studio albums, the masterpieces “Melissa” (1983) and “Don’t Break the Oath” (1984).
After Mercyful Fate broke up in 1985, frontman King Diamond formed the eponymous King Diamond band along with guitarist Michael Denner and Timi Hansen. Both Denner and Hansen stayed with the group until 1987’s “Abigail”, after which both left King Diamond.
Hansen was never credited for writing any songs but he did play bass on both the debut single “No Presents for Christmas” and the album debut “Fatal Portrait”.
In 1993, King Diamond, Hank Shermann, Michael Denner and Timi Hansen reunited to reform Mercyful Fate (with new drummer Morten Nielsen), resulting in the album “In the Shadows”. Hansen was then replaced by Sharlee D’Angelo, as Hansen did not want to take part in touring.
In August 2008, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich asked King Diamond if Mercyful Fate would be willing to participate in the “Guitar Hero: Metallica” video game. Ulrich requested the original masters for two of the band’s songs for use in the game. Unable to locate them, King Diamond, Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, Timi Hansen and Bjarne T. Holm instead reunited to re-record the songs “Evil” and “Curse of the Pharaohs”.
On December 7, 2011, King Diamond, Shermann, Denner and Timi Hansen re-united onstage at Metallica’s 30th Anniversary concert, at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California, where they, alongside Metallica, performed Metallica’s “Mercyful Fate” medley from “Garage Inc”.
Timi Hansen discography:
1982: Mercyful Fate – Nuns Have No Fun (EP)
1983: Mercyful Fate – Melissa
1984: Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath
1985: King Diamond – No Presents for Christmas (single)
1986: King Diamond – Fatal Portrait
1987: King Diamond – Abigail
1992: Mercyful Fate – Return of the Vampire (demos recorded 1981-82)
1993: Mercyful Fate – In the Shadows
2008: Mercyful Fate – Evil / Curse of the Pharaohs (single, re-recorded)